Rear Projection TV Reviews - CRT Rear Projection Panasonic HDTVs
Review date:  July 22, 2005
 Updated:
December 13, 2012

Rear Projection Panasonic HDTV Sets
The Panasonic PT-47XD64 CRT Rear Projection HDTV

Product Review


One of the latest models in the range of Panasonic HDTV sets is the 47-inch PT-47XD64 CRT rear projection HDTV. It is relatively inexpensive and comes loaded with an interesting list of features and specifications.

We take a detailed look at this Panasonic rear projection HDTV to see what's on offer for your home entertainment.


 
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Introducing the Panasonic PT-47XD64 CRT Rear Projection Television

CRT rear projection TVs may not be as bright, slim and stylish as LCD and DLP counterparts, yet they offer a lot in terms of picture quality. In particular, CRT black level performance is unsurpassed by even the best LCD and DLP RPTVs. And overall, CRT rear projection technology still offers the best bang for your buck!

The Panasonic PT-47XD64 is no exception. This Panasonic HDTV set is surely one of the best projection TV sets presently available on the market. It comes loaded with an interesting list of features and technical specifications, and competes well with similar TVs from other brands.

Why the PT-47XD64 Panasonic HDTV?

At present, there are four models in the 2004-line of Panasonic CRT rear projection TVs - the 47" PT-47XD64 and the PT-47X54, together with two 53" sets, the PT-53TW54 and its twin, the PT-53X54.

All four models come with almost identical technical specs; the real significant difference being that the PT-47XD64 Panasonic HDTV is the only Panasonic HDTV in the Panasonic 2004-line of CRT rear projection TVs that incorporates a built-in HDTV tuner and a cable card slot. The other three Panasonic projection TV models fall into the 'HDTV-ready' category; in other words, the built-in tuners on each of the remaining sets are all NTSC standard, and there are no cable card slots present that will let you plug in digital cable TV. This means that to enjoy HD programming, you will have to invest in a separate digital cable set-top-box and/or a HDTV tuner.

PT-47XD64 Panasonic HDTV Main Features

Built-in HDTV tuner and authorized CableCard slot: The HDTV tuner and the CableCARD slot on this Panasonic HDTV give you the possibility to receive both over-the-air HD broadcasts (in addition to standard NTSC), as well as digital cable TV premium channels like HBO and Cinemax - if supported by your cable company - without the need to spend a few hundred dollars in an external decoder to feed in high definition programming.

SD Memory Card Slot: The built-in digital camera memory reader can take both SD and Multi-Media memory cards. It features a JPEG photo viewer to view your digital photos direct on your high definition big screen TV.

HDMI: The PT-47XD64 Panasonic HDTV comes with a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI); this is a lossless uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface that enables the user to link the set with any audio/video source (such as a set-top box, DVD player, or AV receiver).

HDMI supports standard-definition (SD), enhanced definition (ED), or high-definition (HD) video, plus multi-channel digital audio - all using a single cable. It transmits all ATSC HDTV standards and supports up to 8-channel digital audio, with bandwidth to spare to accommodate future enhancements and requirements.

The video portion of the HDMI interface is backward compatible - through the use of a special cable adapter - with DVI-HDCP devices.

Surely, this single cable interface is a big bonus in any home theater setup as it reduces the pile of cables on the floor behind the set!

Auto Convergence: The PT-47XD64 Panasonic HDTV is capable of maintaining the correct alignment between the three color picture tubes though the use of an auto convergence feature that lets you check and reset the convergence with the push of a button.

This is surely a big plus since any changing magnetic fields from nearby equipment such as speakers, etc., can cause gradual misalignment of the electronic beam in the red, green and blue picture tubes over time. Since the green gun is the reference, this will show as a red or blue fringing of left and right edges, especially where bright and dark objects meet. Correcting this problem can be a tedious manual procedure.

Price wise, the PT-47XD64 Panasonic HDTV is presently selling online at around $1,400 - not as cheap as the 46" Toshiba 46H84 but still relatively inexpensive when considering that with this Panasonic HDTV, you do not need to spend a few hundred dollars more in some HDTV tuner or digital cable set-top-box to enjoy HD programming.

What's on offer for the home theater?

Panasonic 47-inch PT-47XD64The PT-47XD64 Panasonic HDTV capabilities supports 1080i and 540p video. The set is configured in a wide screen 16:9 aspect ratio and comes loaded with features to make your HDTV and DVD viewing as simple and enjoyable as possible.

Panasonic CRT Light Engine

This Panasonic HDTV makes use of three high definition 0.52mm fine-pitch 7-inch high brightness monochrome-type picture tubes optically coupled through a 4-element large diameter HD lens in a horizontal in-line arrangement and using a liquid cooling system.

This results in bright crisp clear high definition images. Correct picture tube alignment is ensured through a 165 point digital convergence and a 9-point grid dynamic convergence process, while uniform brightness across the whole screen area is maintained through the use of Panasonic 'screen-VVLL' feature.

Video

A whole suite of proprietary video processing circuitry is employed in the PT-47XD64 Panasonic HDTV to ensure the best possible results. Most of these features are found on almost all models in the 2004 line of Panasonic rear projection TVs. These include:

Wideband Video Amplifier: These Panasonic projection TV sets feature a wideband video amplifier and a 10-Bit 60Mhz A/D conversion processor with a high definition image enhancer.

Panasonic Progressive Scanning: Also referred to as 540p for the number of horizontal lines that compose the video image, creates a picture using twice the scan lines of a conventional video picture, giving you higher resolution and sharper images while eliminating nearly all motion artifacts.

Panasonic Progressive Cinema Scan: This is the 3:2 pulldown detection and reversal feature found on most rear projection TVs. It is a handy feature for watching progressive-scan movie programs in their native 24-frame format. Digital video mastering introduces a common distortion when adjusting 24 frames-per-second movies to 30 fps video; 3:2 pulldown digitally corrects this distortion by removing the redundant information to display a film-frame-accurate picture. The use of a progressive-scan up-converter further enhances the process by making the horizontal scan lines virtually invisible.

Motion Adaptive 3D Digital Comb Filter - this is the best type of comb filter available today since in addition to separating the Y (luminance or black and white) and C (chrominance or color) elements of a video signal, a 3D Y/C filter also performs two additional key functions - that of comparing three consecutive horizontal scan lines within a single video frame, and also of analyzing each frame in advance. In this manner, a motion-adaptive 3D-Y/C digital comb filter is able to render bright colors and action scenes with exceptional clarity by minimizing the 'color rainbow effect' in closely spaced patterns, compensating for the motion that occurs between fields.

Digital velocity-modulated scanning is an advanced circuitry along the neck of the CRT that senses transitions from black to white in the video signal. The black and white portions of the signal are speeded up and slowed down respectively, resulting in sharp black-to-white transitions. For a more film-like picture when watching movies, you may want to selectively turn off this circuitry.

Horizontal/Vertical edge correction: This helps sharpen the edges of objects in the picture. Horizontal edge correction works in conjunction with the dynamic sharpness control and velocity modulated scan to help produce clean, crisp television images and reduce the unwanted effects of video noise. The vertical edge correction circuit works in conjunction with the digital comb filter to sharpen the horizontal edges of objects in the picture.

Inputs/Outputs

The PT-47XD64 CRT rear projection Panasonic HDTV has more inputs and outputs than one would probably ever need in a typical home theater application.

In addition to the HDMI interface already referred to above, this CRT rear projection Panasonic HDTV has 4 A/V input jacks (3- rear and 1-front), 3 S-video inputs (2 rear, 1 front), a digital optical output (AC-3/PCM), a fixed audio output, and an AV program output.

Audio

This Panasonic HDTV audio system includes a 2-way stereo speaker system that is capable of delivering a total of 15 watts total per channel. The sound system makes use of BBE ViVA HD 3D surround sound processing technology.

BBE ViVA is a new High Definition 3D Sound technology that is capable of creating authentic-sounding 3D effects from stereo speakers with exceptional sound-stage imaging. Unlike ordinary 3D sound effects, which often tear the stereo image down the middle, resulting in centrally staged audio material - such as dialogue - becoming fuzzy or even disappearing, BBE ViVA delivers crystal clarity for solo vocals and movie dialogue.

This is possible through the use of linear phase correction and dynamic amplitude compensation, thus improving speech intelligibility and the dynamic range of musical passages, giving music a realistic, 'live' presence.

Other Audio features include

Artificial intelligence sound automatically adjusts the volume level on your TV to prevent wide variations in sound both between different TV stations as well as between different programming sources.

Multi-channel Television Sound (MTS) standard for stereo sound with Dolby noise reduction, and SAP (secondary audio programming) for receiving a second audio track in another language.

Convenience Features

Built-in SD Memory card media slot allows quick, easy viewing of digital photos (JPEG images) right off your digital camera as well as digital photo slide shows and playback of MP3 audio files.

Two-tuner split-screen: This is not exactly PIP but it lets you view 2 programs at once by dividing the screen in half down the middle. Each program is shown at full height, with one program on the left side and the other on the right.

Trilingual On-Screen Display in either English, Spanish or French.

V-Chip Program Lock Out (USA/Canada) to automatically block out specific program content in accordance with the American or Canadian rating system, and that may be inappropriate for certain viewer e.g. children.

Video Input Picture Memory: This allows you to select from three pre-configured picture settings namely Standard, Cinema, or Vivid, and save the setting which looks best to you for the various input video sources.

Product Dimensions and Weight

Width: 46 inches

Height: 49.1 inches

Depth: 25.5 inches

Weight: 147 pounds

What's in the Box

The PT-47XD64 Panasonic HDTV comes with a remote control, remote batteries, a user's manual, and a one-year limited manufacture's warranty on parts and labor.

Concluding Remarks

Pros: Considering the list of features and technical specifications, this CRT rear projection Panasonic HDTV represents an inexpensive big screen option for any home theater. The use of the 0.52mm fine pitch CRT tubes together with the large diameter high definition lens system renders the PT-47XD64 capable of delivering superb picture quality with vivid, bright detailed images. Sound quality is also very good for a TV, in particular, the BBE ViVA feature delivers crystal clear solo vocals and movie dialogue. Further more, the built-in HDTV tuner and cable card slot represent savings of a few hundred dollars in the form of a dedicated set-top-box.

Cons: None considering the price - except for two minor issues: This Panasonic HDTV is not Energy Star compliant, and as with all CRT rear projection TVs, it is rather bulky for the screen size when compared with DLP and LCD rear projection TVs.

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